Toyota and Subaru to Collaborate on Fully Electric SUV

Electric car enthusiasts are in for a treat after Toyota recently filed a patent for a fully electric Toyota SUV which looks quite similar to a Subaru concept shown earlier this year. Back in April, Japanese auto website Spyder7 revealed the name of a medium-sized crossover SUV that Subaru had co-developed with Toyota, the Subaru Evoltis. Subaru had trademarked the Evoltis moniker in the United States and Spyder7 claimed that the vehicle could make its world debut as early as October 2021.

The website claimed at the time that the car would be based on an unnamed concept vehicle Subaru designed in partnership with Toyota. The two automakers have been working together since mid-2019 to develop a new electric vehicle suitable for mid-sized and larger passenger cars, including sedans and crossovers. It is believed that the new EV the two automakers have developed will share the same skateboard platform and much of its SUV body seen in patent sketches that were revealed last month.

The patent sketches were based on the e-TNGA platform Toyota co-developed. Subaru and the new concept vehicle will use the same platform. It enables the two automakers to reduce development costs by creating a single chassis complete with batteries, electric motors, and suspension. Then they can fit different body styles to the skateboard to create new models. Although details about the e-TNGA platform are scarce, it is expected there will be several battery options ranging from 50kWh to 110kWh, with the battery technology sourced from a Toyota and BYD joint venture. This is the same 110kwh battery pack used to power the Lexus LF-30 concept car, capable of providing 400kW/700Nm and 310.68 miles

Subaru and Toyota have said that they will use this new platform to develop new C-segment crossovers together with each brand selling a version of this vehicle. Back in June 2019, Toyota’s powertrain chief Shigeki Terashi announced that Toyota would be releasing up to ten models based on the e-TNGA platform in the early part of this decade. Subaru, on the other hand, announced in January 2020 that the company would be moving towards an entirely electric model range by the middle of the next decade.

Although the platform was reported on as early as 2015, the partnership between Toyota and Chinese battery manufacturer BYD (which supplies the battery system) was signed in late 2019. According to Spyder7, the Subaru Evoltis will be a “more aggressive” version of the concept car shown in the patent sketches earlier this year and will feature a “larger hexagon grille” and “bold LED headlights.”

Experts think this partnership between Subaru and Toyota will nudge other players in the industry, such as Fisker Inc. (NYSE: SPAQ) to speed up their own upcoming projects so that buyers can have lots of options to choose from.

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